Lifestyle & Human Interest

College Dropout Donates $20 Million for Scholarships to University He Couldn't Afford


When Calvin Tyler started pursuing a degree in business administration in 1961, he was the first person in his family to go to college. An accomplishment in its own right, Tyler spent three years at Morgan State College in Baltimore.

But in 1963, he had to shift gears. There was no more money to go toward his education, and so he was forced to drop out. In 1964, he started driving for UPS — a job that would feed into a position as senior vice president of operations and an impressive 34-year career.

Instead of becoming bitter over the difficulties he faced back in the ’60s while working toward a degree, Tyler decided to help other students who — like him — had drive and determination but came up short on funding.

To assist such students, he and his wife Tina started the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2002, which they boosted to $5 million in 2016, and now, in light of the ongoing difficulties students face, $20 million.

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“My wife and I have become keenly aware of the effect that the pandemic has had on a number of young people trying to get an education [and] we have the resources to help a lot of young people,” Tyler said, according to Morgan State University.

“This is why we are increasing our commitment at Morgan; we want to have more full tuition scholarships offered to young people so that they can graduate from college and enter the next stage of their life debt free.”

Making sure students can finish their training without accruing major debt is very important to the Tylers, who also believe that relying on government loans “is just not the answer.”

“Debt can be extremely crippling to someone trying to get ahead in life,” Tyler said. “We just want to help as many young people as we can [to] get an education.

“We’re trying to help young people succeed and this goal is aligned with Morgan’s mission; it’s such a perfect fit. We believe that Morgan State happens to be the best institution to use these resources.”

The Tyler’s $5 million donation was the largest in the university’s history until philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $40 million — but the Tylers have personally provided 46 full tuitions and 176 partial, helping a total of 222 students, according to ABC News.

The university is grateful for their generous donors.

“Morgan is so proud to call this son and daughter of the great City of Baltimore our own, and through their historic giving, the doors of higher education will most certainly be kept open for generations of aspiring leaders whose financial shortfalls may have kept them from realizing their academic dreams,” university president David Wilson said.

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“For public institutions, like Morgan, our charitable alumni are testaments to the legacy we collectively uphold, and the Tylers’ generosity over the years, culminating with this transformative commitment, is a remarkable example of altruism with great purpose. We are forever indebted to the Tylers.”

“Endowed scholarships and other gifts have far-reaching implications for any institution, but for a public, urban university like Morgan, with students from a broad spectrum of academic, social and economic backgrounds, the need is especially great,” vice president for institutional advancement, Donna Howard, added.

“We are forever grateful to the Tylers for their unrelenting charity to alma mater. The impact of their generosity will have a prevailing effect fostering Morgan-made leaders for generations.”

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